Friday, July 30, 2010

Reduced Sugar Raspberry-Peach Freezer Jam

Well, I think that I have picked the last of my raspberries for the summer season. Bummer! However, we've probably had the most (32 pints worth of jam) and the biggest raspberries that we've ever had this year. Mental note: water lots in June next year. We had something like 15 of the first 18 days of June with some measureable amount of rain.
We love Raspberry Freezer jam. For my first batch of raspberries this year I made reduced sugar freezer jam for the first time. It came highly recommended from a friend's sister. One year I tried NO sugar jam and it didn't go over well...with anyone. For reduced sugar jam you have to make sure you buy the correct box of pectin: labeled for reduced or no sugar recipes. You cannot substitute or change ingredient amounts or your jams will not set correctly. I don't think I'll go back to regular jams--I'll stick with reduced sugar recipes.

Sure-Jell® for Less or No Sugar Needed Recipes is in the PINK box. (about $2.50/box) Recipes and instructions come inside each box.

Original Sure-Jell® is in the YELLOW box. (slightly cheaper price than the pink box)

The recipe from the box for the low sugar Red Raspberry Freezer Jam uses 4 c. crushed raspberries and 3 1/2 c. sugar, whereas the original recipe uses 5 c. crushed raspberries and 7 c. sugar. Click HERE for original Sure-Jell® freezer jam. That is a big difference--but really, even cutting the sugar in half you don't notice any difference in taste.

After making a batch of that jam I noticed on the instructions insert a recipe for low sugar Raspberry-Peach Freezer Jam. O.K. I had to try that too. I bought a couple peaches at the store and my kids about died, or so they thought, because I wouldn't let them eat them.

This was YUMMY jam! Most of my kids refused to even try it--why, I don't know. They love both peaches and raspberries, but that's fine. I'll eat all this jam myself. It'll be a sacrifice, but I think I can do it.

Hope everyone is enjoying their summers and go enjoy some homemade freezer jam--it is probably one of the easiest things you could "can" for yourself and your families.

Monday, July 26, 2010

Bee Vintage Blocks for August {Hexagons}

My mailbox is making me pretty happy these days as I receive my Sawtooth Star blocks from my fellow Bee Vintage ladies.

As I wait for the remainder of my blocks, Jennifer posted her request for August. Hexagon Blocks from this tutorial. Since August is a super-busy-start-of-school-end-of-summer kind of month I decided to knock my blocks out asap. That way I could focus on school prep and the last days of summer vacation.

Here is what I came up with.

I didn't sew the middle seams together because the quilt goes together in rows. That way there are no Y seams to maneuver.

This block is my favorite. I happened to find the floral as a pillowcase at my local thrift store and then received another FQ of it during the swap. That gives me a total of 3 FQ's to work with. I think it's a beautiful print!

Now that my obligations are taken care of, I'm off to pack for a week long vacation with my husband and kids. If you need me, I'll be doing laundry!

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Skirted Canning Apron

Last night I gave a beginning canning class/demo for about 18 ladies. Besides talking about canning, part of what we did was have a few giveaways. I like to give an apron away when I do these little "classes". So over the weekend I did a little modification of the basic chef apron that I usually make as "workhorse" aprons. I wanted something a bit more feminine and cute, quick and easy to put together, but still had major coverage.

Basic Directions:
  • Attach the skirted flounce portion to the main body of the apron, wrong sides together.

  • Sandwich the pieces into the double fold tape and stitch thru all layers.

  • Press bias tape "flap" toward hem of the apron. You could topstitch that flap down onto the flounce if you wanted.

  • Bind with bias tape the main body of the apron. Start on one side continuing down and around the flounce hem and then back up the other side. ***I rounded the flounce hem corners slightly so that I wouldn't have to miter the bias tape.
  • Bind the top neck edge of the apron with bias tape.

  • Position bias tape along curved armpit edges leaving enough for ties and then making a loop for the neck opening.

  • Wear and look great! Have fun canning! Congrats Ann Y. on winning!



Simplicity 3752, view C, using the flounce pattern piece

Combined with Mom's New Apron

I really like how this little experiment turned out and think this might be my new "go-to" style apron from now on.

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Bee Vintage Blocks for July {Sawtooth Star}

Thanks to the Vintage Sheet Patchwork Swap, I have joined my first virtual quilting bee. We call ourselves Bee Vintage and we are making blocks using our vintage sheet stashes.

July was the start of the swap. I got brave and decided to be first. For my block I chose the Sawtooth Star Block. (Instructions are here.) Because the blocks finish at a small 8 inches I had to make some extra blocks to get my quilt to the right size.

Here are the ones I made up.

I've said before how much I like scrap-looking quilts. This one will be no different. As you can see I'm kind of all over the place with fabrics, but when I laid them out together it didn't look nearly as chaotic as these picture appears.

Bee Vintage Group 2 is making string blocks for July. Go check theirs out, too. I'm pretty sure that someone in my group is going to chose that style when it's their month so I am already collecting my "strings" in anticipation.

Friday, July 9, 2010

Giveaway Winner chose ALISHA STAMPER as the winner of my extra squares!


Thursday, July 8, 2010

Homemade Bisquick® Substitute

You all know about Bisquick® from Betty Crocker--pancakes, strawberry shortcake cakes, easy cooking, etc.

Here is a recipe for homemade Bisquick®.

Our mom gave me this recipe I don't know how long ago--probably when I first got married and then I've come across it again in this really OLD (published 1978) book called "Make-a-Mix Cookery" by Karine Eliason, which I happened to find and purchase at some thrift store a couple years ago.

In the book they call it Quick Mix

8 1/2 c. All-purpose flour
1 Tbs. Baking powder
1 Tbs. Salt
2 tsp. Cream of Tartar
1 tsp. Baking soda
1 1/2 c. Instant nonfat dry milk
2 1/4 c. Vegetable shortening

In a large bowl, sift together all dry ingredients. Blend well. With pastry blender, cut in shortening until evenly distributed. Mixture will resemble cornmeal in texture. Put in a large airtight container. Label. Store in a cool, dry place. Use within 10-12 weeks. Makes about 13 cups of Quick Mix.

Note: I don't use this amount in 10-12 weeks, so I store mine in a 5 qt. ice cream bucket in the freezer so that it will last longer.

A slightly different version of Bisquick® substitute called Master Mix found HERE.

One more HERE. There are apparently a number of different versions out there online. You can find the one that works best for you.

Here is a family recipe we use for an easy bacon and cheese quiche that uses Bisquick®. I'm sure it is based off of this recipe from Bisquick®. You can easily substitute the bacon for browned sausage, or cooked ham chunks. It is one of my kids' favs.

Monday, July 5, 2010

Confetti Quilt

The Quilt:

I decide against the black used in the inspiration and opted for charcoal
because I was feeling like it might look a little too NASCAR in quilt form.

detail of the binding

detail of the quilting

I made it specifically for our basement and love how it all works together.
love, love, love

My little L likes to snuggle.
I had to wrestle her for it the whole time I was trying to photograph.

All the solids were purchased at JoAnn's
Binding is Ooh La La by Kathy Hall for Andover Fabrics (purchased at my local quilt shop)
The back is Bloom in gray by Paula Prass (purchased at my local quilt shop)

Finished Dimensions:
54.5" x 76.25"
same as the zig zag

****leave a comment and you'll be entered to win my extra squares.
which will NOT make a quilt that looks like this. only the colors are the same.
(I started going with an entirely different layout in the beginning and then changed my mind).
There are 46 six inch squares.


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